Can You Measure The Stimulus?
August 09, 2010

In January of 2009, the Council of Economic Advisers released an economic projection predicting unemployment with or without the stimulus: Of course, unemployment has risen even higher than the chart's worst case scenario. This fact has been cited by, well, pretty much every single Republican and/or member of the conservative movement as proof that the stimulus failed. What it actually shows is that the economy was in much worse shape than the government realized in January of 2009, though some economists predicted that the administration's forecast was too optimistic.

The Wild Heart
April 17, 2010

Why This World: A Biography of Clarice LispectorBy Benjamin Moser (Oxford University Press, 479 pp., $29.95) No one has ever known quite how to understand Clarice Lispector. Though she considered herself fully a Brazilian, having lived in the country since infancy, both her critics and her admirers often described her accent and her diction as “foreign”—perhaps unsure how else to characterize her unconventional wrestlings with the Portuguese language.

The Man Without Categories
June 11, 2008

The Assistant By Robert Walser Translated by Susan Bernofsky (New Directions, 301 pp., $16.95) I. By now the snapshot of the dead Robert Walser has become one of German literature's most often reprinted and commented-upon photographs, its unstaged, accidental existence only reinforcing the image's iconic charge: the last moments of an almost-forgotten great author in an age of mechanical reproduction. Not surprisingly, descriptions of the photograph all bear a striking resemblance to one another.

Mendes-France’s Peace Efforts Command Broad French Backing
July 05, 1954

PARIS Seldom if ever has the National Assembly of the Fourth French Republic given to a candidate aspiring to the office of Premier the kind of enthusiastic ovation accorded to Pierre Mendes-France when he re fused what then seemed the necessary support of the French Communist Party. It was this refusal—dearly and firmly stated—that more than anything else he said won for him what practically no one (except himself) in French political life had expected him to get; and he won by the largest majority in the history of the Fourth Republic.